After testing it for months, Google has finally started flipping on dark theme/mode support for Search on the Web for a lucky few. So far as we can tell, it still hasn't hit everyone yet, and this could be just another test or a limited rollout ahead of a formal announcement. Still, reports today seem quite a bit more widespread than they were the last few times Google played with the feature on customers' computers.
Google really knocked it out of the park on its most recent Chromecast. Adding an entire interface with remote support helped to push the gadget to the next level in the ever-competitive streaming scene. Of course, the addition of a UI also requires making the experience as accessible as possible. With Google's newest update to its streaming device, more streaming recommendations are now available in Spanish.
Google Pay, especially after its excellent redesign, has become the go-to app among Android users for sending money to friends and family. But one feature that it has sorely lacked is international transfers — something that is indispensable to ex-pats and remote workers. Saving you quite a bit of effort, Google Pay is introducing foreign transfers to its US users, although you can only send money to India and Singapore at the moment.
Back in February, a new version of Chrome changed the way that users activate a custom search engine in the Omnibox: instead of indicating the engine and beginning your search string with a tap of the space bar, you had to press tab instead. Long story short, everybody hated it, so Google reverted the change and tried something else. Well, the tab-to-search functionality is back ... but don't worry, it's buried deep in Chrome's Flags menu.
HMD Global's Nokia phones come with some of the cleanest Android builds around, but that still doesn't make the company the fastest to update its devices. Despite a roadmap shared with users last year, some of the phones slated for Android 11 still haven't received new software versions. To better reflect when updates might actually be ready, Nokia has expanded its roadmap up to Q3 and added a couple of new devices onto its list.
Google and other Android manufacturers try to keep on top of the hardware and software security, at varying degrees of intensity. But a vulnerability in widely-used Qualcomm SoCs disclosed by Check Point Research today was particularly alarming. It could theoretically allow a malicious app to patch the software for Qualcomm's MSM modem chips, giving it access to call and text history or even the ability to record conversations. Thankfully, most Samsung phones have already received a patch fixing the problem, and the rest is in for an update next month.
Google intends people to use Google Photos as a repository for more or less every photo they've ever taken. It works great in that regard (assuming you don't mind paying up for the best quality), but if you're a shutterbug, you'll quickly find your account filling up with thousands of photos.
Google released its first Pixel Buds in 2017. They were bad. Pretty much everything about them was underbaked: they didn't sound very good, they weren't comfortable, and they had a weird, cumbersome charging case. Last year, we got a true wireless sequel that was definitely better, but still flawed. After months of software updates — and with a new model on the horizon — are 2020's Pixel Buds a good buy today? Let's talk about it.
Finding new and interesting games on the Play Store isn't always easy, which is why I'm always creating new roundups to highlight the better titles out there. Today I have a fresh update for everyone that includes seven new titles added to our running best-of games list, bringing the roundup up to date for 2021. So if you've been on the hunt for new and enjoyable mobile games that have landed on the Play Store in the last year but have been coming up short, this roundup is for you.